By Adam Gainsburg
Mercury/SouthNode opposite Chiron/NorthNode – August 4, 2008 Oppositions are more than just potent aspects. They are specially tied to the dualistic paradigm as they give form to it in space/time. Two bodies or sensitive points which oppose or polarize one another are essentially playing out the same pattern which all of creation weaves itself from. An opposition provides an opportunity to find common ground, to make the best choices we can and to forge a dynamic balance or alchemical resolution requiring our acceptance of both ends. As an astrologer or astro-enthusiast knows, these are not mere concepts, but descriptions of the cellular truth implicit in being human. We have at every turn the inner capacity to heal ourselves, ask a better question, readjust our life path and create a new resolution.
August begins with a solar eclipse involving Mercury, which tucks in between the Sun-Moon conjunction and the SouthNode all in Leo. Three days later on August 4, Mercury hastens into an exact opposition with Chiron at 18° Leo. Mercury-Chiron contacts are interesting enough, yet the real gem of this opposition is its exact alignment to the lunar nodal axis, also at 18° Leo-Aquarius.
In this article, we’ll illuminate the Mercury/SouthNode conjunction in opposition to the Chiron/NorthNode conjunction.
As a brief explanation, in Soulsign Astrology major aspects are delineated in three ways, depending on application. Reading an aspect from all three perspectives reveals the holographic nature of a n y aspect and empowers the astrologer to meet the needs of any client. We will look at all three for the Mercury side of the opposition and two for the Chiron side:
- The influence of point A on point B;
- The influence of B on A;
- The alchemical result of A & B, producing a deeper creative result usually unexpected or surprising (A + B = C).
Mercury recently left an exterior conjunction with the Sun on July 10, 4:11p ET . A Mercury exterior conjunction signals high usage of or great insight along the mental/intellectual realm. We can become imbued and radiate a fuller cognitive awareness, a better relational capacity (the ability to connect the data dots) and an improved communication ability. We come to be illumined to our own mental process, often in a conscious way. The exterior conjunction can be the most potent point in the Mercury cycle for cellularly “changing one’s mind,” not just in terms of which belief s are clung to but in the way we utilize those beliefs to form a working reality.(1)
We will then bring this greater cognition or “mental sensitization” into the dynamics of Mercury’s conjunction with the retrogressing SouthNode at 18° Leo on August 4. As an influence on the SouthNode (#1, above), Mercury announces that we are striving to collectively remember our past…and our past mistakes (Mercury “on” the SouthNode). As an instruction from the universe, we are trying to bring up into awareness – to recall from cellular memory – anything and everything which can aid us now in our dharmic efforts. Anything we need to be consciously aware of in terms of our prior successes and more likely failures at creating what we want. Mercury in Leo is an intrinsically self -centered mind: it frames reality and expresses itself from its own subjective pool.
Reversing the influence now with the SouthNode’s effect on Mercury (#2), we see an opportunity to revisit karmic means of cognizing the world (and thus ourselves). Just as if we held a magnet over a pile of black filings in order to see which held a magnetic charge and which did not. Letting go of our old ways of thinking, old ways of constructing normalcy is quite a tricky undertaking, especially if we haven’t been clued in to the f act that they’ve become outdated! It’s much easier to shift what we place attention on and how we speak than to change the way we place attention and speak. A popular phrase in select forms of Buddhist meditation is “Change not what you do during meditation but the one who is doing them.” The implication with all SouthNode contacts is that there is a chance to unwind from the internal systems which are no longer relevant or appropriate.
A third way to delineate the conjunction – the alchemy created between the two (#3 above) – produces an intriguing possibility of ten missed by most astrological thought. Whenever Mercury conjuncts the SouthNode (roughly three times per year), some may find a heightened ability to look into the past and see or know things there. For two of my clients who are themselves hypnotherapists, I have noted a general increase in their practices during Mercury-nodal conjunctions and oppositions either by transit or to their natal cycles.(2)
A feature of Mercury-SouthNode contacts is their simultaneous supportive and antagonistic relationship. Supportive, because Mercury as the threshold-crossing messenger can in fact dive into the deep subconscious (SouthNode) and ‘message’ things back to the surface mind. I would not be surprised if during this transit, I saw in my client population a theme of more past, and past-life, recall. This pair can alternately create or enhance conflict within us, as Mercury is normally happy with things it can know, speak about easily, taste, touch and ‘own’ in its databank, while the SouthNode represents our number one repository of things about ourselves we don’ t know: our karmic identity.
Occurring in fixedly subjective Leo, the conjunction will force a review of the relevant ways information has been accumulated and processed and how the world has been constructed by the mind as a result. Thus the conjunction is a means to courageously point our awareness into the past in order to honestly see what’s been there, perhaps hiding behind what we don’t believe we’re ready to see, so as to bring the relevancies forward into present time. And the best way to look into the past is to look into our own body, its energetic patterns, acute conditions and overall vitality.
The Chiron-NorthNode meeting obviously does a longer dance together than the fleet- footed Mercury and karmic SouthNode: a full 5-month waltz. As a symbol, Chiron is “the subconscious belief that we are broken, injured, or somehow incapable of wholeness.”(3) T his belief of course isn’t true, yet persists in some form until the conscious self makes the choice to address it in awareness. In Aquarius since 2005, Chiron has motivated the seeking of a shortcut to any problem or area of life causing us pain or threat of pain (emotional or mental usually). This is one of the first manifestations of Chiron in this sign. Once the shortcuts are discovered to be short-lived, more mature efforts to address the challenges can appear. We find we must go further than symptom- or problem-relief. Eventually, we get down to the root of the issue: our subconscious belief that we are unable, injured or broken in our ability to be whole, capable of happiness and free from anything which bind us (Chiron in Aquarius). Again, this isn’t true, but is held as true in the subconscious, and therefore in the body. To identify this in your world, have a look at the upcoming technologies, medical procedures, communal structures (ie, co-housing, land-based communities, etc.) and recent inventions and see if you can spot Chiron in Aquarius as a possible motivational element in their manifestation. What is being healed? What is being protected? Who is giving up?
“[Chiron in Aquarius] announces that with an honest and compassionate ‘owning’ of our doubts and perceived insufficiencies in intelligence and vision we will discover our true intelligence and vision in socially-needed ways. No matter how much we think we need rules and standards, there is an important part of us which desires to be without them.”(4)
Turning attention to the NorthNode, we see it as the main dharmic indicator on any chart, the evolutionary directionality if you will. But it is not actualized through mental practices, the study of astrology or well-defended ideals: the NorthNode cellularly requires from us a legitimate embodiment of its energy signature. And to embody anything requires more inside room be made for it. And where do we find this new space? Precisely! From the relinquishing habitual dependence on the SouthNode identity. In other words, it is insufficient to think oneself into what the NorthNode might look like. Instead, it requires more of a transformational discovery of oneself a s the NorthNode promise, clearly an “inside job”!
Together through the end of October, this conjunction indicates the need for a deep heart awareness as the source of our visioning, community-building and risk-taking.(5) As a collective mind, we are advancing our techno capacities out of an abandoned, alienated part of our collective self : perhaps it is the collective memory of times where huge sums of people died either from untreated epidemics (because medicine hadn’t found ways to treat the prevalent disease), or from warfare because the leaders prioritized the idea of country and its welfare over the value of a human life.
Examine the following list of exact Chiron/NorthNode dates and world events:
Chiron /North Node con junction
Mar 10, 1914 (Pisces)
Nov 25, 1942 – Apr 18, 1943 (Leo)
Jul 4, 1984 (Gemini)
Sep 2, 1929 – Jan 4 1930 (Taurus)
Feb 14 1969 (Aries Point)
Jul 27 1996 (Libra)
Ferdinand is assassinated three months later , to
WW II momentum shifts in favor of Allies.
AT&T is broken up. British education system
scandal is discovered.
Black Tuesday in Oct 1929 begins Great
First humans land on the Moon four months later.
International peace summit held in Middle East.
First Palestinians, then Israel, drop requirement
that the other must cease existing as a nation .
Mercury/SouthNode opposite Chiron/NorthNode
As a whole then, the full opposition offers us a chance to bring our beliefs out of the past. Not only our beliefs, but the substantive way we use our mind and connect ideas into a workable if not intelligent scheme. Don’t be surprised if you hear yourself saying things or thinking things you haven’t for a long time (or at least since the last Mercury/SouthNode conjunction). Or discover you’ve landed in a familiar and well-played-out dynamic with another person. Or a past interest returns to your inner radar as something once again interesting to check out. Mercury in Leo can be great for keeping a journal and letting the pen fly free exploring what we desire. It can also kick up selfish or assumptive belief s about our own importance or needs. Thirdly, it can bring a welcome focus on self if we’re the type to adopt others’ positions too easily.
As we then cognitively presence ourselves in our creative inspirations now, we find there may be a quota of emotional hurt in the way, or an inner reaction to shut down and protect or hide behind past hurts. Chiron-NorthNode is promising a much fuller Open Heart but only if we drop the narcissism, myopia or neediness which may be lingering.
The evolutionary goal here may just be to allow our minds and hearts to perform a give-away with one another, where the mind offers up everything it is invested in holding onto while the heart offers up everything it f eels it needs to protect.(6)
The Opposition in the Visual Sky
To complete our understanding of this important opposition, let’s look off the chart (and the ecliptic) and up into the sky in order to familiarize ourselves with the story being played out among the planets, stars and constellations at the time of the opposition.(7) After absorbing the following comments in this concluding section, the reader is advised to then return to each sky scene image below for a time. As you do, allow your attention to move to where you feel drawn without attempting to figure out why at first. Open the non-frontal parts of your brain and sense any feelings or impressions which arise for you from each scene.
Mercury- SouthNode in the “roar of the Lion”
Mercury and the SouthNode are positioned in the “roar of the Lion,” where:
- ideas, speeches and information are easily heard by the public;
- fear of fame and public failure may exist or one’s words elevate or def late one’s societal influence or popularity;
- a public defaming or credibility collapse of ten occurs;
- one can find protection of one’s autonomy or act as protector for what must publicly emerge.
Note the head of Hydra, below the ecliptic (pink line). Hydra is the underworld water serpent or snake which connects humanity to raw life force, usually through the feminine principle (present in both women and men).
In this sky story on August 4 then, Hydra can represent the hidden, slippery truth of our past which we keep from ourselves (Mercury-SouthNode). It seems apparent then that we are receiving a potent message that we are not to fear our past, but to courageously bring it up into consciousness so the significant amount of power stored there can support us in the now.
Chiron-NorthNode conjunction in the Visual Sky
The other end of the opposition is just as intriguing. In fact, Chiron among the stars of the Water-Bearer is quite a message in and of itself ! Themes of divine grace, powerful healing and flowing with the steady supply of heart-wisdom to meet the challenges of life all relate here. Chiron is positioned close to the left arm of the great Water-Bearer holding a measure stick. This rod was said to measure or ‘judge’ the height of the Nile’s waters (in ancient Egypt). With Chiron here, perhaps we’re being given an opportunity to “measure” the height of our self -acceptance on a feeling level…how full can our healing become? Only as full as we feel the depth of our feelings!
A bout the Author :
Adam Gainsburg is the founder of Soulsign Astrology. He maintains an active counseling and healing private practice outside Annapolis, Maryland in the US. He is also an author, sound healer and originator of what may be the first meditation form derived exclusively from the astrological mysteries, known as Breath of the Soul. His upcoming book, Bridges of Union, will focus on his six years of research and study into the Mars and Venus synodic cycles (2009).
(1) Regarding the Mercury – Su n exterior conjunction , while some astrological writing sees this conjunction as a challenging aspect, and indeed it can be experienced like that by many , the root of the Mercury-Sun union is in fact an increase in prana or life force for the left-brain function of our body -min d. It is the neurology , in this case, which receives the full brunt of the Sun’s shine. As a result, we identify more about ourselves, our world. We can reach higher in our imagination or understanding. It can also increase our ability to let go of dualistic mental patterns to access more koan-like, paradoxical or non-rational ways of thinking.
(2) By all means anecdotal with far too small a sample, this evidence poses an interesting research possibility for any interested party. One of these individuals has been a client for just over a year , the other for over 2 years.The current hypothesis behind this is that hypnotherapy might have as its ruler the Mercury/SouthNode conjunction , making the hypnotherapists particularly sensitive to transits by them , especially the South Node.
(3) Pg.6, Chiron: The Wisdom o f a Deeply Open Hear t , by the author, 2006, Soulsign Publishing. soularchive.wpengine.com/chiron
(4) Excerpt from Chiron: The Wisdom of a Deeply Open Heart , 2 n d edition . Not yet published.
(5) The deep heart is a Soulsign term for that stratum of one’ s heart awareness which is transcendent of the egoic need for personal safety and emotional comfort. It refers instead to the capacity for an individual to remain open , present and energetically stable in times of contraction, and on a larger scale to make one’ s inner openness – compassion , inclusion and courageous honesty – an important barometer and spiritual practice in one’s life. Visit soularchive.wpengine.com/deepheart for a uniquely beautiful meditation for centering in this inner intelligence.
(6) The “give-away ceremony” is a Native American tradition of literally giving away the most cherished of our possession s, so as to remember the importance of non-ownership, detachment and humility.
(7) Consideration of a planet’ s position in the sky – loosely termed the ‘constellational zodiac’ – is not the the sidereal zodiac, which is just as glued to the ecliptic as is the tropical. This “visual” or “constellation ” zodiac un glues the astrologer from ecliptic- addiction to account for the whole sky in interpretive work (brightness and celestial latitude are important factor s, among others). Further , note that the constellational zodiac is not merely adding celestial latitude in to the m ix , but incorporating proximity to stars, to asterisms as a whole and even can incorporate, in more advanced application, star parans. The term Visual Astrology has been coined by astrologer Bernadette Brady to refer to this developing arm of astrology today .